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WHAT was the most startling paradigm shift you ever had?

A paradigm shift is a change in one's perspective. The parents in this video had one after they noticed their son was looking at them and not at the object they held- this changed their perspective and they saw him differently.
For a great example

  • Jul 25 2013: When I was growing up as a boy, it seemed that humankind could explain almost everything. It appeared that science was nearly complete, with just a few areas where some further work was still needed, like psychiatry.

    At some point in my late teens I realized that we are actually very ignorant and that much of what we know we apply very badly. Many people still operate under the illusion that humans know much more than we actually do. Much of what we think we know is based on assumptions (science calls them working hypotheses) that are useful and seem probable, but are not confirmed and could be very misleading.

    For example, I heard again and again that we must study history so that we do not repeat the mistakes of the past. But then I learned that much of history was written by the victors, and then I questioned whether history provides reliable lessons.

    We need a science of knowledge, to provide us with a numeric quality rating for each paragraph we read. We need to know just how reliable is knowledge. I have no knowledge of anyone else ever suggesting this, and, for me personally, that confirms just how little we understand the whole concept of knowledge.
  • Jul 25 2013: I watched a documentary about 5 or 6 years ago called Zeitgeist. It makes many claims (and seems to back them up to some degree) regarding economics, reasons for war, 9 11, the illuminati etc.
    I have always been sceptical of conspiracy theories, but this documentary has left me not knowing what to believe or who to trust. I wish i knew the truth.
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    Jul 24 2013: reading about the masai people of kenya. after that I moved away from the city where I was living to a dairy farming area. I tried for three years to get a job milking cows on a dairy farm.
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    Aug 7 2013: I've had several, but one that stands out is when, as a teenager, I first seriously thought about the fact that all around the world people - including myself - tend to believe the religious doctrines that are taught where they grow up. Was it possible, I wondered, that everyone in South America had considered carefully the claims of all religions and concluded that Roman Catholicism must be right, and that everyone in the Middle East had done the same and found that Islam was correct? And that all the Russians had evaluated and chosen Orthodoxy, the Scandinavians Lutheranism, the Jews Judaism, the Indians Hinduism, etc? Obviously that was not the case, and I concluded quite rightly that people believed that which they were taught, with little concern for whether it was "true". Clearly the "modern" religions had the same validity as the ancient religions of the Greeks, Romans, Vikings, et al.

    This important discovery, which every youngster should be taught, made me for a while consider god-oriented religions as laughable. But as I matured I began to understand the psychological value of faith, of the feeling that one is not alone in the world. So now I have all respect for faith as a tool for living, though when the faith becomes absolute and inflexible, opposing and excluding those outside the particular faith, it becomes an instrument for evil, as we see daily in the modern world. My appreciation for individual faith does not extend to organized religious bodies, most of which I find execrable.
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    Jul 25 2013: Great question, Leo. My experience came about 15 years ago. Unlike some who have moved from spiritual to what they feel is more rational or scientific, I moved into a second spiritual naivete. I feel that I have moved from living in the faith of others, to having my own genuine faith, to living in the real world with questions I cannot answer, to now, having a faith that goes beyond my own denomination, the trappings of religion, church buildings, etc. to a Christian life that is focused on living like Jesus lived, helping people. My focus is on relieving the poverty of children around the world, sharing the gospel of Jesus but also serving the gospel, meeting people at the point of their need because that is the heart of God. God loves hurting people. I must love hurting people. So... my paradigm shift was moving from a focus on religion to relationship, relationship with God and those in our world who need someone to provide love, care, and hope. Again, a great question. Thank you.
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    Jul 25 2013: When science displaced religion in my life. From a religious purgatory to a path yet uncompleted but clear and exciting.
  • Jul 25 2013: Continuing: Little did I know that the teacher did not keep this anonymous and he told his former student. I then had to face a confrontation with this teacher in private. This teacher did clear up a lot, giving their background and a piece of advice that did cause a paradigm shift. This shift was "when you have a problem with someone don't ignore it, talk to the person even if you're afraid". "If you don't try you will never know, you will just think." I chose, our of fear, to talk to the senior teacher and not the current. I still believe I was too afraid of this person too attempt to confront but I learned the value of not just a confrontation, but a constructive and not destructive one. I most likely didn't want a confrontation with someone who isn't percieved to take other opinions into consideration. I anticipated that to be like any other confrontation, destructive. Which of course people would want to avoid. Learning this valuable lesson also taught me how in control of my life I really am, the power of constructive confrontation and how fear is the loss of control. Sadly I don't think there was a single paradigm shift in my teacher. I did point out the conducting patterns difference and the fears that me and many other students have of this teacher. The conducting reply was "I won best conductor of the year and that just my style". And "I sang and watched my teacher conduct for my other non advanced classes". I think that. I think those are excuses that I chose not to call out to avoid more rationalizations. Clearly the advanced class will react to social facilitation (if the class is at a high level then the teacher must be even higher not equivalent), It also showed the stubbornness that this teacher wouldn't change.

    Who knows, maybe there was a paradigm shift in the teacher as well. I learned not to judge a book by its cover, confrontation and the difference in point of view
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    Jul 24 2013: If you consider a paradigm shift any change in perspective, becoming a parent changes forever who is number one.
  • Aug 5 2013: Learning that Amerifcan soldiers killed Indian women and children, and broke treaties.
    Learning just how much anti-sexuality & shqame brings humanity down. L.L Constantine's book spun me 240-degrees, and opened my eyes to some of the true cruelties of this culture.
    Learning that I had latent intellignece, [and "no," that won't be the last time I misspell that]; as well as a psychic/spiritual world.
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    Jul 25 2013: yes. Think about what a healthy, positive life it is to be a dairy farmer, Leo. Working outdoors, with living things, drinking lots of fresh, healthy milk, delicious. If you want to read about the Masai, they are very interesting, they're all over the Net.
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    Jul 25 2013: Realising that Jesus Christ is who he says he is.

  • Jul 25 2013: Dear TEDies,
    Whoa! So many deep and heartfelt comments. Thank you for sharing a bit of your soul.
    Small example of PS: A man is sitting on a plane while flying to Toronto. Every ten seconds he hears a shrill laugh and his seat jumps forward as the girl behind him kicks his seat. After five minutes of silent fuming at the girl and her father, who has barely tried to quiet her, he turns around to scold the girl once and for all. To his surprise he sees the girl has Down Syndrome and kicks his seat involuntarily every moment or so. He closes his mouth and his eyebrows soften. His perspective changes completely. He just experienced a paradigm shift.
  • Jul 25 2013: I had one with a choir teacher. This choir teacher seemed to be very inconsistent with choir classes. Be an absolute lovable pushover then a total cruel tyrant to the advanced class. A big problem we dealt with was crescendos and decrescendos (volumedynamics) and it was always harshly blamed on us. The harshness followed any other practices including the full choir (all classes). A lot of the kids in the advanced class began to have a fear for this director and it passed down through generations. My perception of this teacher was also someone who will not listen to input to under qualified students as I saw a numerous amount of proposals be shot down. The choir always had to be blamed for things going wrong regardless of the limitations of highschool kids. One day this teachers very own teacher came to direct our choir. I could definitely notice a change in the conducting of the choir right after 2 measures. The choir as well responded with a brilliant out of the ordinary sound. From my musical intuition I could see it as a result of the director's quality in ques. I was so moved in the difference, and motivated by a Ken Robinson video, I told this teacher's teacher the difference it made and how the current choir teacher didn't have the motivation to watch this for pointers in conducting. I said I also don't have the qualification to tell someone how to do their job and I don't think this teacher has the humility to accept my pointers. I said but you being this teacher's very own teacher gives you the qualification and respect in order to reach this person's mind set.